(Jamaica Observer) The Ministry of Health says it has named a multi-skilled, independent oversight committee for the rehabilitation project at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH).
In a release yesterday, the ministry said the move is to ensure accountability and provide transparency to the Jamaican public.
The five-member committee is headed by academic and trained surgeon Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, the ministry said.
Other members, according to the release, include: Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, chemist and deputy principal of The UWI; Errol Alberga, architect and senior partner at Alberga Graham Jamaica, who has done work on the Kingston Public Hospital; Earl Richards, civil engineer, a past president of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers and retired president of the Airports Authority of Jamaica; and Claudette Bryan, a member of industry from western Jamaica and president of the St James Lay Magistrates Association.
According to the ministry, the committee is mandated to review information from the Ministry of Health/Programme Management Office on the progress of implementation of key project areas for the CRH.
They are also to: Review reports on the delivery of clinical services at the CRH covering the on-site and off-site locations to which services have been relocated; provide recommendations to the minister of health on matters related to the execution of the project and advise on any concerns or developments; as well as monitor the compliance and progress of the project in relation to implementation of the key project areas and ensure that any required strategic changes are undertaken in a timely manner so that the project achieves its goals.
The release said, too, that the committee is mandated to meet monthly or as often as they deem necessary. The committee is also to provide direction and assistance in resolving issues that may delay the timely execution of the project and provide monthly updates on the project and the delivery of hospital services to the public.
“I am very happy to serve as chairman of the committee,” McDonald is quoted as saying in the release, following the introductory meeting of the committee at the Ministry of Health yesterday.
“I believe we have quite a competent team to provide oversight for what is clearly a very large project. Professor Kahwa and I have had quite a bit of experience in dealing with mould on the Mona campus and I believe that will serve the committee well. We have an architect, a civil engineer, and there is Ms Claudette Bryan,” he said.
“I am looking forward to doing this, what is considered a very important job. I am a surgeon by training and also a medical educator; our students are trained at Cornwall Regional Hospital. This is very dear to my heart,” the UWI principal said further.
In the meantime, Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton said he was confident that the committee members would fulfil their mandate, given their individual and collective experience.
The committee members, who are to be provided with administrative support from the Ministry of Health, will be paid travelling and subsistence, in accordance with the relevant Government of Jamaica guidelines, the release said. The ministry said it will also cover the cost of hotel accommodation in Montego Bay to facilitate the visits approved by the chairman.